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Persepolis has won the Rotterdam Audience Award

The French film PERSEPOLIS has won the Audience Award of the 37th International Film Festival Rotterdam. Earlier in the festival, PERSEPOLIS was also honoured with the young people jury’s MovieSquad Award.
The festival counted 355,000 visits to its 250 feature films, 450 short films, exhibitions, live performances and events. Sunday February 3, the festival closes with the ‘Volkskrantdag’, a pre-booked screening day of festival favorites. The 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam will take place from January 21 through February 1, 2009.

Saterday night February 2, 2008, Dutch actor Rutger Hauer announced in ‘de Doelen’ in Rotterdam, PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi and Philippe Paronnaud as audience favorite of the 37th IFFR. The prize comes with 7500 Euro. PERSEPOLIS, based on the autobiographical comic strip books by the Iranian-born Satrapi, ended up ahead of gastronomic film ESTOMAGO by Marcos Jorge (Brazil) and 2KM2 – A SQUARE VIEW by Carel van Hees and André van der Hout, a filmic registration of part of the city of Rotterdam.
After the announcement of the audience favorite, the festival screened its Closing Night Film: THE BAND’S VISIT by Eran Korilin (Israel).

Rotterdam winners
On Friday evening February 1, 2008, the VPRO Tiger Awards were presented to Liew Seng Tat for FLOWER IN THE POCKET, Aditya Assarat for WONDERFUL TOWN and Omar Shargawi for GO WITH PEACE JAMIL. Liew Seng Tat was also awarded with the Prince Claus Fund Film Grant for his CineMart Project IN WHAT CITY DOES IT LIVE? The Tiger Awards for Short Film went to AH, LIBERTY! by Ben Rivers, AS I LAY DYING by Ho Yuhang and OBSERVANDO EL CIELO by Jeanne Liotta. The Dioraphte Award for Best Hubert Bals Fund Film went to MUTUM by Sandra Kogut, the NETPAC Award to WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I DONE WRONG? van Nui Dozer Chen-zer, the FIPRESCI Award to THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN by José Luis Torres Leiva and the KNF Award to CARGO 200 by Alexei Balabanov.


In attendance
The attendance of 350 filmmakers and visual artists was highly appreciated by the festival audience. In turn, the filmmakers profited from their festival visit to meet with industry delegates. Alexander Sokurov returned to Rotterdam after ten years. The first video art installations by filmmakers Tsai Ming-liang and Wang Bing were part of the exhibition ‘New Dragon Inns’. Filmmakers in Focus Kobayashi Masahiro, Svetlana Proskurina and Robert Breer presented their oeuvres. Filmmaker and Director of Photography Ed Lachman came to Rotterdam with three films: I’M NOT THERE, IMPORT/EXPORT and, within the Pièce Uniques-theme section, TRUE STORIES. The retrospective theme section ‘Rediscovering the Fourth Generation’, well received by audiences and critics, will no doubt turn up at other festivals and cinematheque screenings around the globe. The 37th Rotterdam edition welcomed strong delegations of the Russian, Middle Eastern, French and Philippine, Japanese, Thai and Malaysian independent cinema.


Sales outfits pick up Rotterdam titles
Just before and during its 2008 festival period, sales companies have acquired many Rotterdam titles for international sales. Insomnia World Sales announced the pick-up of MY MARLON AND BRANDO (GITMEK) by Hüseyin Karabey (Turkey/Netherlands/UK; Hubert Bals Fund supported, Hubert Bals Fund Plus and CineMart Project).
Memento Films International has picked up international rights to VPRO Tiger Awards Competition title THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN (EL CIELO, LA TIERRA Y LA LLUVIA) by José Luis Torres Leiva (Chili; Hubert Bals Fund supported film). Before the festival Memento acquired rights to two other Competition titles: Tiger Award winner WONDERFUL WORLD by Aditya Assarat (Thailand) and EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY (MANGE, CECI EST MON CORPS) by Michelange Quay (France/Haïti).
Wide Management has picked up RECYCLE by Mahmoud al Massad (Netherlands/USA/Jordan/Germany/Spain/Switzerland; Time & Tide Section)
Sales company EastWest Filmdistribution has acquired world rights to WORLDREVOLUTION (Weltrevolution) by Klaus Hundsbichler (Austria), Sturm und Drang section.
New Berlin-based sales agent M-Appeal has picked up world rights to three films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008: TALE 52 (ISTORIA 52) by Alexis Alexiou (Greece, VPRO Tiger Awards Competition title); TRICKS (SZTUCZKI) by Andrzej Jakimowski (Time & Tide Section) and THE MUSE (DE MUZE) by Ben van Lieshout (The Netherlands, Dutch Treats Section).
Paris-based Elle Driver picked up ESTOMAGO - A GASTRONOMIC STORY by Marcos Jorge (Brazil, Sturm und Drang Section, 2nd place in list of audience favorites).


Free Radicals
Part of the 37th Rotterdam festival edition, lead by Rutger Wolfson, focused on the theme of Free Radicals by film programmes and the ‘3Radicals’ exhibition of works by Robert Breer, Paul Sharits and Cameron Jamie; American band The Melvins and Japanse guitarist gave live performances during the screenings of Jamie’s films. Within the short films selection, many attended the festival evenings devoted to the Starting from Scratch theme section.


Short filmmakers connect with CineMart
For the third time during the first five days of the festival period, venue Lantaren/Venster became centre of the short film section ‘Short: As Long As It Takes. Many filmmakers expressed their appreciation for the Rotterdam festival as source of inspiration and occasion to meet with collaegues, producers and distributors and audiences. Filmmakers to take the step towards feature filmmaking returned to Rotterdam to present their film projects in CineMart: Matt Hulse, Prix UIP Rotterdam winner David Douza and VPRO Tiger Award winner Liew Seng Tat.

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